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Posts Tagged ‘rhetoric’

Adjusting your Grammar and Rhetoric to your Agenda

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

I believe that the correct usage of grammar and mechanics is always important when addressing an audience by way of a public outlet; however, the most important things to observe that dictate one’s message are the audience and the message, itself. It is a common assumption that Facebook and Twitter accept more unconventional styles of grammar, such as emoticons, acronyms, and the lack of punctuation, while professional sites such as LinkedIn require the use of proper grammar, spellings, and punctuation. I would argue that even on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it is always important to pay attention to the way in which you present your message. If you deliver a message that is on a level of importance to you, your audience will be more willing to take it seriously if they can see that it was written with care. Your rhetoric, punctuation, grammar, etc. will convey the level of care that you have for your message. Proper mechanics also reveal your intelligence to your audience, making your arguments more believable and credible. In Shain E. Thomas’ article, “Social Media Should not Hinder Writing,” he quotes Charlotte Hogg ,who supports this argument, asserting that “For many, proper or conventional grammar is a sign that the person is taking care with their message for their audience, and so it’s important to know when to write more casually for social networking and when to follow the traditional conventions of Standard English.” However, professional sites like Linked In, I will argue, do not always have to follow conventional grammar codes. For instance, if you are interested in obtaining a job with creating web pages, it is important that you illustrate to your audience (or potential employer) your knowledge of HTML codes and computer lingo. The same can be said for any field in which you need to display your knowledge that cannot be illustrated using traditional grammar. Conclusively, I believe that both writing in conventional grammar code and in unconventional ways, such as using computer lingo, are acceptable. However, the most important thing to remember when deciphering between the two is your audience and your message.

“Social Media Should not Hinder Writing” 

Word Count: 355

Categories: Haley Tags: , , ,

Social Media Speaks

January 23, 2013 Leave a comment

I must admit that I am not an expert on the subject of social media. To be honest with you, I have hardly any experience at all, but when I do participate in social media, I find the language patterns fascinating. Culture has always fascinated me. One of the ways I see the internet is as an opportunity to view culture and learn.

Social media speaks its own language that is unique in its composition and in its lack of rules. It definitely seems like the language of social media has an anything goes attitude when it gives its speakers the ability to combine letters, words, symbols, acronyms, tongues, punctuation marks, and the like. Surprisingly, this casual, free-form communication is effective. People understand each other and are having an ongoing online conversation.

To many, this is a tactic that dumbs-down our language. To me, this is sheer genius. Manipulating a language, bending it to meet your own personal rules, is the work of a person who truly understands that language. When we talk about the language of social media we talk about a whole community of people who have the same ability to manipulate the language. This yields a fascinating, no-holds-barred style of communication and a voice that is representative of the world. Word Count 213.

LSW 2: Somewhere Between “Whom” and “LMAO!”

“To Whom it May Concern.”

“OMG, Check this out!  LMAO!”

Depending on who you’re talking to, there are countless ways to greet people and carry on a conversation from there.  Language patterns and rhetorical features are as varied over social media as they are in face-to-face communication.  Users are being more innovative with their language than ever before, and the 2-way symmetrical model of communication is redefining what it means to speak professionally.  The name of the game is to communicate in the way that is most effective for the audience you’re trying to reach.

As a professional, when you address your customers, it is important to listen to them first, just as chapter 2 in our text book describes.  You have to get a feel for who your audience is, and pick-up on ways the customers are interacting with each other.  That way, when you join the conversation, you can communicate with language patterns that are relatable, yet still professional.  This rhetorical concept is known as building ethos, or credibility.  You will want to interact with them in a way that makes your audience want to trust you, like you, and still respect you as a professional.

Take the two greetings above, for instance.  “To whom it May Concern,” may be professional, but it’s not going to win over a casual audience.  On the other hand, “OMG, check this out!  LMAO!” is relatable, but probably not a good professional strategy unless you’re marketing to tweeners.  Again, the key is to listen to your customers, and find a naturally professional and relatable way to say, “hello.”

Word count: 267

Categories: Christina Tags: , ,

Appropriate Rhetoric for Specified Social Media Audiences

January 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Communication style differentiates depending on which social media platform is being used. From Facebook, to LinkedIn, it is important to note the specific purposes that are unique to each site. First and foremost, however, the writer (or user) must know their audience. They must know what types of rhetoric will be recognized among their audience and which will not. As Osburn says, people who are good communicators in everyday life will be good online communicators as well. I believe that people who are already good communicators know their audiences well enough to convey the information that they wish to be absorbed effectively. For instance, LinkedIn uses social connections to introduce businesses and employers to potential employees. If a user cannot use proper grammar, mechanics, and communication skills, it is doubtful that there will be much of a connection for that person. Acronyms, emoticons, and other “recreational” internet lingo should be left out of conversations on professional sites. If you want your audience to acknowledge you, you must gain a reputable image. Part of this is knowing how to speak properly. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are appropriate sites for the aforementioned lingos and internet slang; however, if the user wants to gain the respect of their audiences through these sites, they still must be aware of who is reading their posts and how they expect to be spoken to even under the informality of Facebook or Twitter.

Word Count: 236

Rhetoric and Humor in Social Media

January 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Analyzing the type of language and content that people post on SM can correlate directly to Aristotle’s five canons of rhetoric: Invention, style, arrangement, delivery, and memory. Through invention, we post opinions that are debatable; through style, we could choose to provide a link to a source to back up our findings or include a picture; the arrangement is how we would order our thoughts to best articulate our language/message; through delivery, we would utilize the caps lock key and emphasize certain punctuation marks (such as the exclamation point, question mark, dashes, and the other symbols that are coupled on the numbers row), and take advantage of the enter key to form new paragraphs to create emphasis; and with memory, we would be more than familiar with the material we are conveying as to create ethos (credibility) with the audience.

In looking more closely at the types of language and words used in customer service, one could find humor in the message. This style is harder to achieve without destroying ethos, because money is serious. And when people feel their money and time aren’t being taken seriously, that said company’s credibility goes out the window. While humor can be conveyed through customer service in SM, it requires a degree of finesse, a refined technique, and the customer’s best interest in mind. Integrating some of the customer service jargon (customer loyalty, customer expectations, customer satisfaction, mission statement, support staff (instituteofcustomerservice.com/1848/all/3/Glossary)) isn’t as hard as remaining trustworthy to one’s customers and slipping in a punch line at the same time.

Word Count: 257